How Sea Cucumbers Could Help to Save the World

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Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Professor Selina Stead from Newcastle University is therefore investigating solutions such as sustainable farming of Sea Cucumbers in the sea. They could provide a perfect natural remedy to keeping fish farms healthy and clean, reducing the impact that these farms have on the sea.

Sea Cucumbers could change the face of aquaculture, by reversing some of the damage that has been caused by humans over the years. The fact that Sea Cucumbers are close to extinction means that another benefit is that they can recover their numbers.

Better than Chemotherapy?

Even more remarkable is the evidence that is emerging that seems to indicate that sea cucumber extracts can kill cancer cells while stimulating the immune system. Certain compounds extracted from the Sea Cucumber have been found to be more effective than chemotherapy at reducing the size of tumours, without the harmful side effects. The extracts in question are the triterpenoids. They have shown some positive results in laboratory studies in slowing cancer cell growth and stopping new blood vessels (which feed tumours) from forming.

Ethan Evers the author of ‘The Eden Prescription’ writes of research that has demonstrated the Sea Cucumber’s ability to “kill lung, breast, prostate, skin, colon, pancreatic, and liver cancer cells. These extracts have also proven effective in killing leukemia and gioblastoma cells”.

A study titled ‘Frondoside a suppressive effects on lung cancer survival, tumor growth, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasiscan be found here. Frondoside A, extracted from the Sea Cucumber was demonstrated to kill 95% of ER+ breast cancer cells, 95% of liver cancer cells, 90% of melanoma cells, and 85-88% of three different types of lung cancer.

“But the benefits of this compound don’t just stop at directly inducing programmed cell death (apoptosis). It also inhibits angiogenesis (the ability of tumors to grow new blood vessels to get their food) and stops cancer metastasizing by impeding cell migration and invasion. Even more intriguing is the ability of frondoside A to activate our immune system’s natural killer cells to attack cancer cells. This has been shown for breast cancer in particular but may also apply to all cancers, because it involves the immune system and not cancer cells directly. This may partially explain why frondoside A was so effective at shrinking lung tumors in mice that it rivaled chemo drugs in performance.” ~ Ethan Evers.

The renowned kiwi cricket player Martin Crowe has publicly stated that he uses a natural Sea Cucumber based remedy to treat his condition, Follicular Lymphoma. But at the present time Sea Cucumbers are not used in cancer treatments, this is something that could change following further studies.

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